Giles Watling, Member of Parliament for Clacton, lobbied the Home Secretary on the topic of police funding during Home Office Questions in the House of Commons.
Police forces across the country have two streams of funding; central government funding and council tax precept for policing. The maximum amount that the policing precept can be increased without a county wide referendum is 2%. Giles asked the Home Secretary if consideration could be given to lifting the 2% cap on any precept increase without the need for such a referendum.
Giles was delighted that Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State at the Home Office, has agreed to meet with him and other Essex MP’s to discuss this possibility.
“Essex Police do an incredible job, not just here in Clacton, but across Essex. However, having had a number of conversations with the Tendring District Commander and Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, it is clear that additional funding is required to fund front line officers. I am delighted that the Minister has agreed to meet with me and other Essex MP’s to discuss the possibility of increasing the amount of funding the police receive through council tax which will address this funding issue. Currently, if the police want to increase their element of funding through council tax above 2%, there has to be a referendum. This is a costly process and the local residents I have spoken to support the idea of increasing funding but do not wish to have a costly referendum when that money could be better spent – on policing for example!”
Giles has now written to the Minister to arrange a meeting to discuss this proposal.